Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Book Recommendation--THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff

It's time for Week #3 of Friday Book Recommendations: Summer Edition. My pick this week is THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff. I've made no secret that I tend to pick books based on the cover alone, and this book was every bit as amazing as the cover. Seriously, how could you see this cover and not pick up the book? In fact, the only book I've seen with a cover that matches the creepiness factor of this one is the book I'm recommending next week!

Description from Goodreads:
Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Kristi's take: This is the first book I've read in awhile with a male MC, and I LOVED it. Brenna's writing style is haunting and beautiful, and the relationship between the MC and his sister brought me to tears more than once. I'm calling this a 'summer vacation read' because you won't be able to put it down. The tension is high throughout the book, the setting and characters are eerie (hello, living dead girls), and I couldn't stop reading until I finished it. You might not want to read this one too close to bedtime though. ;)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How Do You Feel About Google+?

As far as social media goes, I've mentioned before that I'm somewhat of a late bloomer. I was the last of my friends to join Facebook, and only caved to the Twitter thing about a year ago. I've strangely been enjoying both, but just as my technology-challenged self started feeling a little comfortable, someone threw Google+ into the mix. I signed up, started sorting various people into circles, and then sort of forgot about it.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE the "circle" idea and how you can create different categories for writers, editors, etc. It makes it easy for someone like me, who never quite figured out how to do that on FB. Note to my FB writer friends out there: now you understand why you've been subjected to updates about my 4-year-old's singing habits. *sorry* Anyhoo, my issue is the time factor. Between blogging, tweeting, FB, and, you know, actual writing, my time is stretched enough as it is. If everyone were on Google+ instead of FB, I'm sure I'd be on there more, but FB is still going pretty strong. 

How do other peeps out there feel about Google+? Do you spend as much time there as FB? What do you see as the pros/cons of Google+ vs. FB? I really want to know what you think before my brain has a social media explosion.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Book Recommendation--Summer Edition BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray

Fun Summer Pick #2: As I said last week, I thought I'd give a run down of my favorite reads from this summer. What makes this week's pick a perfect beach read is that the majority of the book takes place on a beach--not the kind of beach I'd want to inhabit, but a beach nonetheless. I give you my second summer pick: BEAUTY QUEENS by the uber-talented Libba Bray.

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program--or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan--or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Kristi's take: This was my first book by Libba Bray, although her others are all on my TBR list. I'll admit that I picked this book up and put it down again several times before deciding to go with it. The premise seemed so over-the-top and wacky that I wasn't sure it was for me. I'm SO glad I gave this book a shot. The characters, plot, and setting are completely over the top, but that's sort of the point of satire. I laughed out loud throughout the entire book, and especially loved her footnotes and contestant profiles inserted in the chapters. Issues such as consumerism, commercialism, feminism, terrorism and some other "isms" I probably missed are addressed, but with a witty and hilarious vibe. If you like your sarcasm sharp and your humor intelligent, this book is for you. I loved it and will be moving her other books to the top of my list.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bad Taste in Boys Contest Winners

That's We couldn't pick just one, so two honorable mentions will each receive an awesome Bad Taste in Boys bookmark by Carrie Harris. No, my 7-yo didn't change his mind. He refused to part with his bookmark so these two are offered up by Lacey. Thanks to everyone who entered—we loved reading all your ideas and feel better prepared in case of a zombie apocalypse. 

Honorable Mention #1: TORE! If there was a zombie infestation in my school,I would grab some supplies and lock my self in the basement with a boy. We thought this was a great answer—and we hope the boy is hot.

Honorable Mention #2: LORI M. LEE! I'm the most uncoordinated, clumsy person I know so I would TRY to arm myself but, in all honesty, I'd probably end up tripping on a board and falling on a rusty nail before the zombies ever got to me. Um, a couple of us Sisters might have related to this one...I know I'd definitely injure myself way better than anyone/anyzombie could. 

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: TRICIA J. O'BRIEN! I'd have directed them to my Latin teacher. She could've scared the Undead into being really dead.  This made us LOL--I think everyone has had a teacher like this. Great job being creative, humorous, and succinct. You win a signed copy of BAD TASTE IN BOYS! 

Congrats to the winners! We will email you with further instructions. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Zombie Contest is Closed

Thank you for all your zombie-licious entries in our Bad Taste in Boys contest. We will pick the winner today and announce it tomorrow (Tues. 8/16) on the blog. Good luck and happy Monday! :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Book Recommendation--Summer Edition

For the next few weeks, I'm going to highlight some of my favorite summer reads from the last two months. The first one up won't come as a huge shocker, being that we've centered an entire contest around it and all. Speaking of which, you only have a few days to enter for a chance at your own signed copy of this:

Bad Taste in Boys (Kate Grable #1) 
Someone's been a very bad zombie.

Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate!

She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town. . . and stay hormonally human.

My take: Pure fun. This is the perfect summer read--I read it in an afternoon and enjoyed it thoroughly. I loved Kate as the nerdy, brainiac, epileptic MC, and not to give away spoilers, but I loved how the epilepsy was integral to the plot rather than just an added affliction. Also: that cover. Yeah, I know I've already gushed over the cover in the past, but it's so awesome that when my 7-yo saw the bookmark on the counter, he took it for himself and said I couldn't give it away with the book. To sum up, I can't wait for the next Kate Grable installment. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Borders Book Carnage

I've heard all the reasons why Borders went out of business and why many bid them good riddance, from horrible customer service to poor business strategies and failure to jump on the ebook wagon. Truth be told, my favorite book store is our local Tattered Cover but...Borders was by far the closest book store to my house and the staff there were always awesome to me. My hubby and I would go there almost every date night after dinner to browse. I've taken my kids there numerous times, and loved watching their excited faces as they explored the kids' section and got to pick out a book. I did most of my holiday shopping there last year and spent so much money I was sure I'd keep them afloat. That's why even though I wasn't surprised, I was still sad to see Borders go.

So last weekend, my hubby and I paid our final respects and went there after an amazing dinner. I expected to stroll through the aisles one last time, lingering in the YA section and giving a nod here and there to my favorite writers. What I didn't expect was book carnage. It looked something like this, only much worse:

Gone were the neatly shelved books in alphabetical order. Instead, Lauren Myracle was tossed onto Libba Bray, while Carrie Jones bumped up against Holly Black. It was mayhem and madness, and made me kind of sad. I fought the urge to straighten them all and put them back in their respective places. I know electronic publishing is the wave of the future, and books will still sell in various formats, but there is one old-school book lover here who will miss my trips to Borders. Farewell, Borders!

I know there a lot of Borders haters out there, but anyone else who will miss them? Or at least feel sad about the demise of a bookstore?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Contest Monday with signed book by Carrie Harris

My vacation month flew by in a blur, and I can't believe my son is back in school already. It doesn't seem fair that the neighborhood pool and school should be open simultaneously...what happened to the "after Labor Day" start of school? Anyhoo, Valerie is still soaking up the culture in Amsterdam, and Lacey and I really hope she doesn't decide to stay there. But we didn't come back to the blog empty handed--we have a giveaway for you!

The zombie-riffic Carrie Harris signed a copy of Bad Taste in Boys for us. The inscription is even cooler, because she wrote "Sisters in Scribe rocks." Yeah, we know, but it's still nice to hear. Carrie was gracious enough to let me interview her back in November, and you can check that out here. I've read the book and it's awesome, so we're giving it away to one of our amazing followers.

The rules are simple--mainly because it's my first week back to the blog and the idea of doing a spreadsheet makes my head hurt. Leave a comment telling us how you would handle a zombie infestation in your high school (or how you would have handled it, if you're, um, older). We'll pick the most creative and/or funniest comment as the winner. You have to be a follower to enter, but that's it. Spreading the word is appreciated, but not required. Good luck!

Contest ends: Sun. 8/14 at 10pm EST. You must be a follower of this blog to enter.
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